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Bosnia marks anniversary of Sarajevo market bombing

Ceremony to pay tributes to victims held at Markale market place in capital Sarajevo

Talha Ozturk   | 28.08.2019
Bosnia marks anniversary of Sarajevo market bombing

BELGRADE, Serbia 

Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday marked the 24th anniversary of Markale massacre in which 43 civilians were killed by a shell fired by Serb forces during the siege of capital Sarajevo.

The Markale marketplace shelling was one of the biggest massacres committed during the siege of Sarajevo between April 1992 and December 1995.

In a ceremony to mark the anniversary, participants -- including family members of the victims -- paid tribute, laid wreaths, and prayed for the dead.

The ceremony was also attended by Croat member of the Presidency Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zeljko Komsic, as well as Sarajevo Mayor Abdulah Skaka.

Ismir Jusko, Minister of Gazi Affairs of the Sarajevo Canton, pointed out that Markale massacre had mobilized NATO to intervene to help end the war.

"The attack carried out 24 years ago was the last massacre in besieged Sarajevo. This massacre had mobilized NATO," said Jusko.

Amerisa Ahmetovic, who was wounded in the attack in Markale said that she lost a leg in the attack.

"I was 16 years old. It was a terrible thing. It was one of the hardest things that could happen to anyone in life," said Ahmetovic.

Rasim Koso, one of the witnesses of the massacre, said that many people in search of supplies came to the market place during the war years.

"I came that day at 11.15 a.m. What I saw was terrible […] human arms and heads all around the place," said Koso.

On February, 5 1995, a mortar exploded in the main market square, killing 68 people and injured nearly 150.

On Aug. 28, 1995, another mortar targeted the square, which killed 43 people and wounded 75 others.

- War crimes

The shelling is among the crimes former Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of during his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The UN court in The Hague also sentenced former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic to life in prison for his part in spreading terror among civilians in the capital Sarajevo and in other parts of Bosnia, including the Markale massacres, in an attempt to clear non-Serbs from certain territories.

He was also found to have had "significant responsibility" for the 1995 genocide of over 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

For the Markale massacre, the court also sentenced Dragoslav Milosevic, commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska, to 29 years in prison, among other charges.

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